Appreciation, Understanding, and Acceptance… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Appreciation, Understanding, and Acceptance...

What’s Up?

On Tuesday I got lots of work done very early, did my shoulder stretching/exercises early as well, and was in the pool for my easy 3/4 mile swim by 10am. After lunch, Jim drove me up to Orlando Airport for my Global Entry interview. As I never knew that the darn thing expired after five years–they do not let you know either by e-mail or letter–I needed to re-apply and have a second interview 🙁 Tip: try to remember to renew yours after four years and ten months 🙂 Doing so will save a lot of hassles. Why Global Entry? The main reason is that it–fingers crossed–should keep you from getting busted when returning to the US with your expensive photo gear. That happened to me many years ago in Miami; it was a big-time hassle.

Here is a good one on my swim. As my pulse rate is usually only in the high 80s when I get out of the pool, I say often that my swims are more about meditation than exercise. I generally do 4 lengths of breast stroke and alternate those with two lengths of kick-boarding, two lengths of sidestroke, and two different kinds of backstroke (with one length of each of those). Yesterday morning I was sort of daydreaming about being in a blind in Finland on the first morning waiting for the male Ruffs to arrive and start displaying. I was lost deep in thought while back-stroking to the far end of the pool when suddenly I was rudely interrupted when my head solidly struck the wall of the pool. I do not swim fast but I was going fast enough for a really good jolt and a nice bump on the very top of my head. The pool was not damaged… You gotta love being in the moment.

In a way, it is ironic that today’s blog post is being published on Day 300 of the streak…

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending IPTs and dozens of the folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear, especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 300 days in a row with a new educational blog post. There should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. Or not… As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the new BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.

Appreciation, Understanding, and Acceptance

Below are two comments made in response to the blog post here.

Before you start reading the two comments below and my responses, please do understand that I treasure the dozens of positive comments that are posted here each month and those that I receive via e-mail as well. In large part, they inspire me and drive me.

Link Ng
September 1, 2016 at 10:37 pm.


Love your blog but at end of day it is all about money and business. Appreciate your candid feedback but your site is all about you and making money.
I liked the Canon series of videos, very helpful. Wish you would share more “free advice” rather than always selling. You are a great photographer sharing great wisdom. But… I tire of the sell job.

My Reply

Hi Link, I am sorry that you have a problem with my part time job. I put in at least 15-20 hours/per week on the blog and another 10 hours a week answering gear questions via e-mail. Heck, that’s almost a full time job. I would suggest that you un-subscribe from the blog so that you will not be so “tired.”

BTW, have you used my B&H links? Have you made a blog thank you donation here? Have you been on an IPT? Or are you just a taker?

As for me, I tire of unappreciative, gimmee, gimmee, gimmee folks like you.

later and love, artie

September 1, 2016 at 9:50 pm·

If one reviews Arty’s sales over the past few years, you will see he helped me sell a 600 II in record time to a great buyer. Arty’s sale posts vouching for the lens in general are very helpful and go a long way in persuading his cadre of readers, some who may be on the fence about a purchase or somewhat less knowledgeable about a product.

However, as an avid reader of this fine blog and of the used sale section, it’s apparent to me if hours and hours were really put in to study used pricing, it wasn’t studying the appropriate sites. One needn’t put in hours at all. Other sites have very active classified sections. I’ve personally bought and sold tens of thousands in gear over the past 10 years on some of them. If an item is priced right it will sell. If not, it won’t. It’s not rocket science knowledge that few like Arty possesses. One only need view those sites and one will learn very quickly what price is right. In fact, some months ago I emailed Art and pointed out the asking prices on his site for certain lenses, such as the 85 II, the 300 2.8, etc were way to high. He agreed and the prices were quickly lowered. As an honorable person, Art will not deny it.

My point is if an item is not yet listed, there should be no duty (sic: obligation) to pay any fee. Fee for what? Expertise on pricing that anyone with a modicum of time can glean on their own? And pricing that for quite a while was way out of line with the market which caused items to sit unsold.

My Reply

Hi Mark, I have “really put in hours and hours” of work on pricing. It takes time to do pricing research, especially for gear that one has never sold before. Most folks simply do not want to put in that “modicum of time” to do the needed work. It ain’t so modicum.

I do not remember the e-mail you spoke about, but it really does not matter. The point that you are missing is that many folks simply will not listen to my pricing advice; I always give the boys and girls the option of naming the price if they want to go higher than my recommendation. So it is not my “way out of line” advice that is causing items to “go unsold.” See the three old Nikon 600s that have been listed for more than 6 months; I told each of the sellers that they were priced way too high. Nobody budged. And two of them are dear friends 🙂

And please do not forget that if folks do not like the concept of paying 2 1/2% of the B&H lowball offer they can choose to not agree to the terms.


ps: I do not mind being wrong and admitting it and I do not mind being criticized, but I will–as I have done here–always defend myself when I have been unjustly criticized.

Note: several subsequent e-mails and comments by Mark that I deleted resulted in him being spammed; he is no longer welcome to comment on the BAA blog. He is in a small group of less than half a dozen–not a very large number of unhappy campers over all these years.


Palouse 2016 Horizontals Card

Why Different?

Announcing the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour

In what ways will the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour be different from the most other Palouse workshops?

There are so many great locations that a seven-day IPT (as opposed to the typical three- or five-day workshops) will give the group time to visit (and revisit) many of the best spots while allowing you to maximize your air travel dollars. In addition, it will allow us to enjoy a slightly more relaxed pace.

You will be assured of being in the right location for the given weather and sky conditions.

You will learn and hone both basic and advanced compositional and image design skills.

You will learn to design powerful, graphic images.

You will visit all of the iconic locations and a few spectacular ones that are much less frequently visited.

You will learn long lens landscape techniques.

You will learn to master any exposure situation in one minute or less.

You will learn the fine points of Canon in-camera (5D Mark III, 5DS R, and 7D II) HDR techniques.

You will be able to share a variety of my exotic Canon lenses including the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens and the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens, aka the “circle lens.”

You will learn to use your longest focal lengths to create rolling field and Urbex abstracts.

You will learn when and how to use a variety of neutral density filters to create pleasing blurs of the Palouse’s gorgeous rolling farmlands.

As always, you will learn to see like a pro. You will learn what makes one situation prime and another seemingly similar one a waste of your time. You will learn to see the situation and to create a variety of top-notch images.

You will learn to use super-wide lenses both for big skies and building interiors.

You will learn when, why, and how to use infrared capture; if you do not own an infrared body, you will get to borrow mine.

You will learn to use both backlight and side-light to create powerful and dramatic landscape images.

This trip will run with one participant.


Palouse 2016 Verticals Card

The 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour
June 8-14, 2017. Seven full days of photography. Meet and greet at 7:30pm on Wednesday, June 7: $2,499. Limit 10/Openings: 9.

Rolling farmlands provide a magical patchwork of textures and colors, especially when viewed from the top of Steptoe Butte where we will enjoy spectacular sunrises and at least one nice sunset. We will photograph grand landscapes and mini-scenics of the rolling hills and farm fields. I will bring you to more than a few really neat old abandoned barns and farmhouses in idyllic settings. There is no better way to improve your compositional and image design skills and to develop your creativity than to join me for this trip. Photoshop and image sharing sessions when we have the time and energy…. We get up early and stay out late and the days are long.

Over the past three years, with the help of a friend, we found all the iconic locations and, in addition, lots of spectacular new old barns and breath-taking landforms and vistas. What’s included: In-the-field instruction, guidance, lessons, and inspiration, my extensive knowledge of the area, all lunches, motel lobby grab and go breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions. As above, there will be a meet and greet at 7:30pm on the evening before the workshop begins.

To Sign Up

Your non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold your spot. Please let me know via e-mail that you will be joining this IPT. Then you can either call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 during business hours to arrange for the payment of your deposit; if by check, please make out to “BIRDS AS ART” and mail it to: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail: artie.

Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options. You can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right 🙂

26 comments to Appreciation, Understanding, and Acceptance…

  • I’ve been breaking the rule to never swim alone for too many years, sure that it can’t apply to me (senior life saving card and all) but your swim bump certainly has me re-thinking my (and your) mortality. I hope you are having someone watch you swim.

  • I think people who complain, make me cringe “I think you are doing a great job”. Here in the UK there is no Professional Photographers giving free advice to Canon users that I no about.

    As for promoting your business what is wrong with that? If you don’t do it, nobody else will. And you our successful at what you do. As for your low 2.50 % on equipment sold that is very fair deal. I am on your side Artie. I understand the frustration you must feel. I was an amateur 30 years, then started my own photographic business. It’s been the best 14 years of my life. I love it, and I will continue into my old age if I can. I sell my my images to be used on retail product packaging. I work 7 x days a week, but at my pace.

    On a more personal note, I swim every evening 5 days a week I go in the sauna first, then 20 x lengths doing the crawl, breast stroke and running forward and back in the water. Once when I was running backwards I was dolly day dreaming and I collided with the poolside end. “Not nice”.

    Best and love


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Kel. Good on you for being able to sell a few images in today’s climate.

      The normal commission for selling the gear is 5%. The 2 1/2% comes into play only in certain situations.

      later and cheers, artie

  • avatar Jackie Milburn

    I’ve missed a few weeks here…and therefore have missed the negative post…Glad of that!

    Thank you Artie for everything you share and do it means a great deal to all of us.

    Sounds like you may need a hardhat while swimming 🙂 Be Careful we need you!!!


  • avatar David Peake

    Hi Artie, I have totally lost track of the stuff I have learned reading your blog. I have laughed, cried, been angry (at the haters) filled with joy and I cant remember how many other emotions I have felt while getting lost in the world of BIRDS AS ART.

    You often share your heart and always acknowledge if you make a mistake. You are unfailingly patient and kind to folks who disagree with you and the endless train of free advice and teaching is priceless. Asking folks to use your links is very fair and reasonable. In my business and most every business I can think of, after advice, a bill comes in the post. And along with it there is an obligation to pay up. Your blog readers get so much advice for free its immoral. And they have the option (choice) to use your B&H links.

    After nearly three years of reading your blog I am finally getting to go on a trip with you and I can’t wait. See you in Santiago. 5 weeks. Whoohoo.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi David,

      Many thanks for your kind words. It is the multitude of Happy Campers like you who keep me motivated. I can’t wait either 🙂

      Later and love and see you soon,


  • avatar Jake Levin

    “The site is all about you and making money”

    Oh, the horror! To think that someone would have the chutzpah to showcase their personal work on their own blog, and use that same blog to help grow their business! It’s not like photographers have any expenses…all you do is push a button!

    The blog is designed to help make money for the guy running it? No s***, Sherlock.

  • avatar kw mcculloch


    Thanks for all you do.


  • avatar John Patton

    Thanks for the links to Charlie’s work. It is fantastic. I especially like how it teaches as well as entertains.

  • avatar Frank Sheets

    I kinda thought you were providing a service. Something wrong with service fees? And reasonable as well. I also thought visiting your sight was voluntary.

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    Hi Artie,
    If a reasonable person reads the used gear sales rules and doesn’t like them, then they can sell their gear elsewhere. Easy peasy.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      That’s funny. I just used easy-peasy in an upcoming blog post this morning. With the hyphen…

      later and love, a

  • To Mark’s objection: The 2.5% isn’t just for your pricing knowledge; it’s for putting the seller’s ad in front of a group of potential buyers (BAA members/readers) who are most likely to read it, and to need and want the gear being sold.

    Doesn’t take a marketing genius to figure out that is easily worth the 2.5%.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Don’t forget, according to the late Mark everybody knows what I know about pricing and if they don’t it’s easy to figure it out. I did go to one of the sites he mentioned to “check the prices.” There were 88 pages of listings with about 50 items on each page and no way to do a generic search…


  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. Well, you don’t charge people not to list items or not to read your blog (or even to read your blog). If they are unhappy, why don’t they just take advantage of those totally free options? Thanks for all you do.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks David, I think what I need to do if find a way to charge the folks who do not read the blog 🙂


  • avatar Dave McShaffrey

    Artie – I remember a breakfast conversation with you, Charley Harper and Scott Weidensaul many years ago where I asked the 3 of you how you managed to make a living doing something you love. The consensus was that you have to be good and you have to market yourself. Not an easy thing to do in today’s world, and you are not just earning your own nut but employing a few people both directly and indirectly. Glad to see you’re still at it and glad the pool I bought you (with my B&H purchases and using your book for my classes) wasn’t hurt – a lucky break indeed considering your solid New York noggin! 🙂

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Good question. Those were the days. Scott has been doing great too while the magical Charlye Harper died in 2007. I will always remember how nice Charlie was to me. Priceless in fact. I am glad that you too are well. Your comment put a smile on my face.


      ps: Folks can see Charlie’s whimsically abstract bird art here.

      pps: Lots more here including a great video of a interview with Charley.

  • Besides the bird photography of course, one of the things I’ve always admired about you are your outstanding marketing skills.

    I guess some people see it differently, but I see genius every time you post something online, whether its the blog or an interview. Every time you mention IPT, Birds as Art, etc., you’re drawing more people who pretty much search for anything related to bird photography. I’m sure you could give a seminar on just marketing alone.


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Many thanks Doug. But I guess that my subliminal marketing was not subliminal enough for my friend Link…

      But a seminar on marketing tours would be a bad idea. Why? As is, every Tom, Dick, Harry, and Sally who owns a camera are conducting cheap photo tours. Like it or not I am at a point in my career some IPTs are not filling as they used to, despite my prices actually coming down on average. Go figure. IAC, I shall keep on plugging.

      later and love, artie